Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Ronald D. Valenti

Second Supervisor

Welton L. Sawyer

Abstract

The landmark NCLB (2001) has directed great attention and increased awareness of early literacy instruction. Still, less attention has been paid to older students who struggle to read. School districts must identify best practices and strategies to remediate students who struggle to read. The purpose of this 30-week mixed methods research was to examine the effectiveness of a reading intervention program, My Sidewalks, to improve pre-adolescent students’ reading skills and impro ve their positive attitudes toward academic and recreational reading. Reading skills were measured using the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation. Students’ positive attitudes were measured using the Elementary Reading Assessment Survey. Each measurement instrument was administered in the Fall of 2010 and Spring of 2011. This action research took place in a small-sized urban school district in the Lower Hudson Region of New York State. Using stratified random sampling, the 49 purposive participants were Grade 5 struggling readers who received reading intervention services during the 2010-2011 school year. Consequential of the 30-week implementation of My Sidewalks , participants demonstrated statistically significant gains at p < .001 in sentence comprehension, passage comprehension, and vocabulary. Participants showed practical significant gains at p = .10 in listening comprehension. Moreover, students demonstrated statistically significant improvement in their positive attitudes toward recreational reading, while a slight improvement was noted in academic reading. The practical significance of this study will lead to broader investigation and evaluation of reading intervention programs and best practices that address the struggling readers dilemma among older students.

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